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March 01, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-01

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 1, 2004

6
OPINION

420 MAYNARD STREET
U nANN ARBOR, MI 48109
opinion. michigandaily..com
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
Editorial Page Editor

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
Everybody was
feeding off the
carcass of what
was Iraq."

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of
the Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX
h o w io ce e~S 1 t-e Y ja nace.- 41,1tx
. bec dscvtec.ed...
s
VZ

- Interim Iraqi trade minister A li Allawi,
on corruption of the oil-for-food program
by Saddam Hussein's government, as
reported yesterday in The New York Times.

Coming unstuck in history
ZAC PESKOWITZ THEL LOWER FREQUENCIES
"Main Street is the cli- ple with the moral uncertainty that often tions, but the second go around was more
max of civilization. That surrounds it has resulted in many outcomes promising. The foreign policy team mis-
this Ford car might stand as abhorrent as those initiated by millenari- handled the Rwanda crisis in the spring of
in front of the Bon Ton an sects. The self-styled progressives of the 1994, but eventually exercised a credible
Store, Hannibal invaded early 20th century who embraced the prom- response to genocide in Kosovo. Candidate
Rome and Erasmus wrote ise of eugenics as a cure for the world's Clinton often took a skeptical attitude
in Oxford cloisters." problems represent a particularly unsettling toward free trade, while President Clinton
- Sinclair Lewis case of this behavior. The relevant distinc- struggled to get the North American Free
"What are the politics of tion between the two forms of endism is that Trade Agreement past a Democratically
boredom?" in the more ambiguous example, individuals controlled Congress. As vice president, Al
- Malcolm McLaren merely believe that the possibility of the end Gore went on CNN to mock Ross Perot as
exists. We have created the tools for the a protectionist with a photograph of Rep.
A fter more than 40 years of Cold realization of the good.life; it is up to the Willis C. Hawley and Sen. Reed Smoot, the
War anxiety about counterforce next generations to adopt them. authors of the ignominious Hawley-Smoot
strikes, the adequacy of the civil Generational narcissism may be the hand- Tariff Act of 1930, and defend the princi-
defense system, a bomber gap followed by iest explanation of humanity's habit to identi- ples of NAFTA. By the end of his presiden-
a missile gap, the proliferation of MIRV fy the final stage of history as a development cy, Clinton was winning major trade battles
missile technology and the credibility of contemporaneous with one's existence. In by large margins. Both parties seemed to
deterrent threat, the end of history looked this respect, it is a self-absorbed fetish. How- be converging toward the ideals in Fukuya-
like a pretty good bargain. The thesis ever, its defenders insist that there are bene- ma's vision of the end of history.
served to displace the apparently unshak- fits of this obsession with the end. It is a tool Of course, none of this holds now. John
able fear of the end of humanity with more to impose order on the complexity of histori- Kerry flaunts his isolationist campaign
mundane fears. Even as tragedies and con- cal events, find a purpose in the confusion of line, "We shouldn't be opening firehouses
flict still lay ahead, future society would be life and reduce political disagreements to in Baghdad and closing them in Brooklyn."
defined by free markets and democratic their essentials. It's difficult not to be cynical when exam-
institutions. We knew what we were and The sea change in the U.S. political ining Sen. John Edwards' jibe that trade
where we were going. arena on the issues of free trade and represents a "moral issue" when he voted
The tendency to identify one's own humanitarian intervention and the relative against the African Growth and Opportuni-
epoch and way of life as the crown of cre- decline of the Democratic Leadership ty Act. President Bush implements quotas
ation is a persistent undercurrent of human Council's influence has reflected a distinct on steel imports and tariffs on textiles. The
history. The countless millenarian move- shift in the attitudes of Americans toward belief that the end of history is preordained
ments that have claimed the end is nigh and the end of history story. While it has since breeds a sense of complacency toward
exhorted their followers to consummate been mocked, critiqued and largely these sudden shifts. The end of history the-
gruesome deeds are prominent examples of renounced by its creator - Francis sis wraps policies that are genuinely impor-
this mode of thinking. A belief in the imper- Fukuyama has since argued that the pace of tant in a cloak of urbane nonchalance.
ative of "progress" and the concomitant technological innovation prevents history History, even from the victor's circle, is
belief that the ideal of progress can be readi- from coming to an end - for a short still worth fighting for.
ly identified is a more ambiguous example expanse of time it looked and felt real. On
of the same pattern of thought. The fascina- the foreign policy front, the first Clinton Peskowitz can be reached at
tion with progress and an inability to grap- term didn't always live up to the expecta- zpeskowi@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

BAMN is not a 'para-
terrorist' organization
TO THE DAILY:
I was deeply confused by Dan Grano's
letter (Information on website an error; Col-
lege Republicans do not support the MCRI,
2/18/04) calling the pro-affirmative-action
group BAMN a "para-terrorist" organiza-
tion. Assuming Grano could not possibly
be likening nonviolent protest to terrorism,
I searched for a potential definition. Dis-
carding the ideas that the speaker had to
be protected from a group protecting
against terrorism, that BAMN was operat-
ing a crack suicide-parachute squad or that
being in favor of affirmative action is
somehow "parallel to, but going beyond,
terrorism," I can only hope that he intend-
ed the prefix to somehow soften and legit-
imize his comparison of a group he
disagrees with to violent killers. In which
case, his remark is merely para-offensive,
para-extremist and para-stupid.
DENNIS CLARK
Rackham
Nader a better choice
than Democrats
TO THE DAILY:
I'm having a hard time swallowing this
"Anybody But Bush" pill - the rationale
that the Bush administration is an extrem-
ist rogue faction of ideologically driven
Christian fundamentalists and that any
Democrat would be better.
This administration is not so rogue
judging by U.S. history, which shows a
consistent record of covert or open aggres-
sion to undermine movements in the pub-
lic interest that challenge global corporate
profiteering.
And judging by the Democrats' last
three years as the opposition, they're no
better. For such an extremist agenda,
where have they been? Where were the
filibusters, the procedural obstructionist
tactics? The Democrats, including presi-
dential candidates John Kerry and John
Edwards, abdicated the power of Congress
to declare war while ushering in the new
era of Bush's national securitv strategy

no to evil! Vote your conscience and vote
for Ralph Nader who says, "There are a
hundred million non-voters that no one has
figured out how to bring back into the
electoral system, which I want to try to
do."
MITCH ABRAMS
Reader
Politicians need to make
difficult choices for country
TO THE DAILY:
On Feb. 25, Federal Reserve Chairman
Alan Greenspan made comments before
Congress that Social Security benefits
would have to be trimmed to keep Social
Security and the federal budget fiscally sol-
vent. These comments were unpopular with
both Democratic presidential candidates and
also with President Bush, as you could
probably expect in an election year. This
move by the candidates is no doubt to pro-
tect their stand with older voters, who are
more likely to hit the polls, despite the bleak
future of the federal budget and Social
Security. However, this demonstrates one of
the biggest problems with our government
and our political system. No one who has
his name on a ballot is willing to step up
and take an unpopular stand for the good of
the country. The biggest problem with
politicians is they start out wanting to gen-
uinely do good, serve the country and make
America better. However, in their quest for
power, they compromise their values, and
the good they sought gets lost in the shuffle
as politicians struggle to gain and remain in
power. I personally have started to become
apathetic about the entire political system
when we as a country have serious prob-
lems, and we do not have any serious people
who are willing to solve them. In my opin-
ion, what this country needs is sincere, hon-
est and authentic leadership, which is in rare
supply. I know I paint a much more dire
picture than is actually out there - our gov-
ernment does us a great deal of good, pro-
viding peace and security (among other
things). But I see that we are sliding down a
slippery slope, and American is getting used
to accepting less, so I ask you Daily readers,
what will you do about it? Whatever your

City's police need to
protect pedestrians

TO THE DAILY:
This letter is a response to the article enti-
tled Jaywalking causes greater concern since
student deaths (02/17/04). The Ann Arbor
police are not doing their jobs as far as pro-
tecting pedestrians is concerned. I have first-
hand experience. I was struck by a car while
walking to work in Ann Arbor in January of
2003. This occurred in front of the Michigan
Union, as I was crossing South University
Avenue in the crosswalk. I was hospitalized
with a broken hip, head wound and internal
bleeding. I was in the hospital for a month
and in a wheelchair for three months after
that. The point I'd like to make is that even if
you are legally crossing the street in Ann
Arbor, you are not necessarily safe, so the
issue of pedestrian safety is much broader
than Lt. Michael Logghe attempted to convey
with his statements in the article.
Not only did the police never contact
me for their report, but they failed to
return my phone calls after repeated
attempts. The person who hit me was
issued a ticket at the scene for failure to
yield. The result? The police officer, Offi-
cer Martin, never showed up to court that
day, and the charge was dismissed. So part
of the problem, as I see it, is in the failure
of the Ann Arbor Police Department to
enforce the law.
That is the kind of "civil service" you
can expect from The AAPD when you are
a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen of Ann
Arbor. Thanks for nothing, Ann Arbor.
KENNETH A. LONGO
Research fellow, Department of Physiology

II

LETTERS POLICY

The Michigan Daily welcomes letters
from all of its readers. Letters from Universi-
ty students, faculty, staff and administrators
will be given priority over others. Letters
should include the writer's name, college and
school year or other University affiliation.
The Daily will not print any letter contain-
ing statements that cannot be verified.
Letters should be kept to approximately

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